What we do

Community arts definition: as contained in ACNI Community Arts Policy, co-developed with community arts sector

“Community art is a process of harnessing the transformative power of original artistic expression and producing a range of outcomes: social, cultural and environmental. Looked at politically, socially, culturally and/or economically, community arts aim to establish and maximise inclusive ways of working, providing an opportunity for communities and their participants to continue to find ways to develop their own skills as artists and for artists to explore ways of transferring those skills. Through this process, community arts aim to maximise the access, participation, authorship and ownership in collective arts practice.”

Put simply, community art practice develops original creative thinking, activity and outcomes to affect positive change.

Community Arts Partnership began in 2011 out of New Belfast Community Arts Initiative and Community Arts Forum, and it builds on the success of these two leading community arts organisations. Community Arts Partnership is committed to championing community arts in the belief that they can positively transform our society. We support and collaborate with community groups, schools, artists, community arts, arts centres and other organisations in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Through our work we offer:

  • Arts workshops
  • Information about arts programmes people and communities can take part in
  • Information and research about community arts
  • Training for those interested in developing and running community arts programmes
  • Opportunities to meet, share information and discuss how community arts can help individuals and communities
  • Initiatives to promote and advocate community arts

Arts projects

Our arts projects span across a variety of art forms. We support communities through our fully funded arts workshop programme with a focus on those most marginalised in society. We also develop and deliver tailor-made arts projects for your particular need or budget.

Information services

We provide a variety of information to those interested or working in community arts, including projects, events, funds, training, job and volunteering opportunities. This includes information available through our free weekly e-newsletter and our website.


We undertake research projects which highlight good practice in community arts and demonstrate the positive changes that the arts can bring in society.


We develop professional training with the aim of encouraging the development and delivery of community arts projects in different organisations. Our training programme is open to artists, community workers, youth workers and teachers among others.

Conferences & open meetings

We offer a variety of opportunities for networking, sharing experiences, having discussions about community arts, including conferences and open meetings

Promotion and advocacy of community arts

We organise a series of initiatives and liaise with a range of organisations and agencies in order to raise awareness about the importance of community arts in society.

If you would like more information about our initiatives, please contact Julianne Skillen, Development Manager julianne@capartscentre.com

Priorities of action

Our priorities are grouped under the following main areas:

Support, promotion and advocacy of community arts

We will

  • Fulfil a prominent advocacy role
  • Provide information services through our e-newsletters and staff
  • Disseminate information about community arts via other channels (including media and publications)
  • Undertake major research projects investigating the provision and benefits of community arts
  • Provide opportunities for networking and sharing experiences through a programme of symposia
  • Offer funding surgeries
  • Offer work and professional development opportunities to artists
  • Signpost and provide direct support to individuals and organisations interested in becoming involved in community arts
  • Work in partnership with a variety of organisations to strengthen the sector

Access to community arts

We will

  • Develop and deliver a wide range of high quality projects in a variety of art forms
  • Promote participation engaging a significant number of participants from different communities, and of different ages and abilities across N Ireland targeting those most marginalised
  • Grow audiences for community arts initiatives
  • Explore opportunities for the creation of a dedicated community arts centre in the Cathedral Quarter

Positive change through community arts

We will

  • promote dialogue and understanding between and across communities, and support personal development and social and economic regeneration through community arts

A viable, sustainable and well run community arts organisation

We will

  • maintain good governance
  • have a professional and motivated staff team
  • ensure relevant policies are in place
  • develop the organisation strategically
artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.